Leeds pledge to stand by Walker and Bailey

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Leeds have expressed their surprise at the length of the sentences given to Chev Walker and Ryan Bailey, who have been sent to young offenders' institutions following a brawl outside a Leeds night-club.

The Rhinos are standing by the players and will not terminate their contracts. Walker and Bailey were sentenced to 18 and nine months respectively, while Rochdale's Paul Owen received a 15-month sentence and another Leeds player, Dwayne Barker, was ordered to do 150 hours of community service.

In a statement, the Leeds chief executive, Gary Hetherington, said: "The club finds itself in a very difficult position. It does not condone the actions of the players. However, knowing these players as we do, we are puzzled by the severity of the sentences handed out to Chev Walker and Ryan Bailey and question if it is in the public interest for them to be locked away for so long."